5:43 a.m. wake up from dream about the time being 5:45 and checking cell phone to confirm time.
5:44 a.m. check phone. Realize I am psychic. Or have impeccable internal alarm. Am going with the former, because it’s way cooler and more useful.
6:15 a.m. leave apartment in Rome.
6:25 a.m. arrive in new metro station for the B1 line (it only took them 83729 years, but hey, better late than never, right?)
6:30 a.m. Get on train to Termini
6:35 a.m. arrive in Termini
6:42 a.m. Get ticket to buy my train ticket. This is a newish system they’ve been doing in the station to “expedite” things; however, it’s just like the post office.
6:45 a.m. Realize B31 (my number) is a big difference from B12 (the number they’re on) and the dreaded* auto ticket machines would be faster. *dreaded because they NEVER seem to take my credit/debit cards and I always end up running around a station asking strangers for change for a 50 because I manage to always find the one machine that doesn’t give the correct change.
6:48 a.m. Successfully acquire dreaded auto ticket machine ticket! Huzzah!
6:50 a.m. Validate ticket. Since 2003 when I was traumatized by a Trenitalia agent fining me for traveling without a validated ticket (what did I know? I was 16 and alone and had no idea what was happening!), this is priority uno for me in a train station.
6:50-7 a.m. Walk to stinkin’ Piazzale Est, another newish part of Termini, which include tracks that were essentially laid in China.
7:16: Train departs. Realize it’s the first time in years that I’ll make the trip straight past Orvieto on the Rome-Florence line to switch in Chiusi.
7:17 a.m. Reflect on how little I enjoy seeing the sunrise on travel days, ebcause it normally means I’ve slept poorly the night before.
7:35 a.m. Sun gets me in the eyes and I look outside and see the landscape of Lazio in a thin coverlet of fog. Wonder if this is what the ancient Romans saw and assure myself that it was indeed. Am reminded that dawn isn’t so bad, after all.
8:03 a.m. Whole world is invisible outside or, at least, only silhouettes in the fog; here, a tree. There, the suspension of the bridge. Alfred Hitchcock’s ghost would derive great inspiration.
8:04-9 a.m. Read Book 3 of Game of Thrones and wonder when/if/how I can/will write such an engaging story to be sold worldwide and made into a killer HBO series.
9:01 a.m. Change trains in Chiusi.
9:38 a.m. Have brief conversation with Canadians about why I speak Italian after translating for a couple of women for the conductor. Remember Canadians can be just as loud and conspicuous as Americans.
10:38 a.m. Arrive in Siena, eat food, write postcards of places I went years ago but still remember and can report back about.
My morning ends technically at noon, at which point I find myself still waiting for the 12:50 bus to Gaiole in Chianti. By now I have run into 2 L’Eroica riders, been made fun of for knowing 0% about bicycles, especially antique ones, and learned a) what a sprocket is and does, b) what the distinct characteristics are of an antique versus modern racing bike and c) that I really don’t know a darn thing about bicycles. NO, really, at all.
|This is the main house of the apartment where we’re staying in Castellare in Chianti. You can’t tell how pretty it is from this, but trust me. It’s pretty.
The afternoon was full of stuff, including a butt-breaking uphill ride to our apartment and really tasty pizza, not in that order. Full report on L’Eroica and Gaiole in Chianti coming soon.